Review of This Song is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin

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I really enjoyed this book. The characters are interesting and well written, the imagery is excellent and I really like the author’s writing style. The characters (Ramona, Sam and Tom) compliment each other well while still being their own person.

The book starts out with the three main characters applying for an arts school. While they’re in the waiting room, Ramona introduces herself to Tom and decides that he needs to be in a band with her and her best friend, Sam. He agrees and their lives get better and more exciting from there.

They learn a lot about themselves and what they want in life through their friendship and the music and art that they of them create. My favorite thing about them is how accepting they are of each other and those around them. I like that each character knows who they are and what they believe in. There are some unconventional themes in the book, but they work for the characters.

If there was a sequel, I would read it in a heart beat. 5/5 Stars.

I got this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

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My first book haul of 2016

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New books!

I got seven new books at the thrift shop on Thursday. They are:

Vampire Dreams (an SAT vocabulary Novel by SparkNotes

Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule

Evermore: A Novel (The Immortals #1) by Alyson Noel

Pretenders by Lisi Harrison

Three Quarters Dead by Richard Peck

The Crow: Temple of Night by S.P. Somtow

I’m Next by Goldberg

 

Has anyone read any of these? If you have, what did you think of them?

 

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Review of Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror by Matt Drabble

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Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror is about a man named Martin who is starting his new job as a custodian at a mental health facility. He is being trained by an older guy named Jimmy and, after Jimmy discovers that Martin was a writer, he suggests that Martin write a book about the residents. I like that the short stories are part of the main story. After each resident’s tale, it goes back to the present where Jimmy gives Martin more information about them and we get to see Martin’s reaction and learn more about things. I really enjoyed that format and it worked well.

My favorite stories were “No Strings Attached” and “The Devil’s Music.” “No Strings Attached” is about a poor kid who works at a toy store. It could be an episode of Tales from the Crypt or a show like it. “The Devil’s Music” is about a teenage devil-worshipper who plays guitar in a metal band. Sure it’s a cliché, but Paul is a fun character and the last line is funny.

Unfortunately, there were some editing issues and a lot of the stories, including the main one, were predictable. It was still an enjoyable read, but it’s not something that I would read again. 3.5/5 stars

Review of The Essential Pocket Philip K Dick by Andrew M Butler

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One of my housemates loaned me this book after we were discussing science fiction movies. I like the way it is written and I think it is a great way to introduce Philip K Dick to people who have never heard of him (like me).
I like the way the author set up the book. He gives a synopsis of each story, explains who the main figures were and how they fit into Dick’s character archetypes, and gives his verdict with a rating out of five. Some of them are pretty funny. “This story talks about diaphragms and inter-racial couples? I wonder why it didn’t sell in 1958.”
I found it interesting that someone who was kind of “out there” stuck to the same themes and characters in each story. A father figure, the dark-haired girl, a cat, etc. I plan on finding some of the stories so I can come up with my own verdict.
I would recommend it to people who want to learn more about this author and to people who are already fans of his.

 

Review of Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski

I got this book as a birthday gift from my friend Meghan (Who is also a blogger. Check her out here.) and the author was nice enough to write me a little note in it. Very cool.

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My first impression was that I loved the cover and description. It fits with the book being set in the 1930’s. The main character, Braineater Jones, has just returned from the dead and he’s trying to figure out what’s going on, where he is, and, most importantly, who he is. He ends up being taken in by a guy named Lazar who teaches him that he need to drink liquor to survive. Unfortunately, Prohibition is still going on.

Jones keeps a journal of everything that’s going on, so the book is written in that style, and he moves into an office about Hallowed Grounds, the speakeasy owned by the Old Man (a fetus in a jar). From there, he starts working as a private investigator for other undead people in a slum called The Mat. Things get more interesting from there.

There are all kinds of things in this book: double crosses, voodoo, 30’s slang, a zombie brothel (where you can literally build your dream girl), corpses in lust (as promised on the cover. And yes, it was “as gross as it sounds”), murders, conspiracies, talking heads, etc. I would go into more detail, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

I like that this is a totally unique take on the living dead. It’s not a virus. It can’t be spread through a bite. Some people just come back. As long as they get enough alcohol, they can function just like a normal person. If not, they turn into a mindless, brain eating monster.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes zombies and being entertained.

Reader’s Poll

Hello, readers! Thank you to everyone who reads, follows and likes my blog. I hope you’re all doing well. 🙂

I’d like to do a reader’s poll to see what’s working, or not working, here on the blog. There are only four questions:

  1. What do you like about Tanie’s Reviews?
  2. What don’t you like about it?
  3. What would you like to see more of?
  4. Would you be interested in seeing book haul/deheaul posts?

Please leave your answers in the comment section. Thanks!

Review of The Casquette Girls: A Novel by Alys Arden

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This book was amazing! The characters, setting, descriptions and plot are all excellent.  The story starts with Adele and her father returning to New Orleans after The Storm. The opening scene of the book with them driving through the city is so well described that I could picture the destroyed homes and abandoned cars. It really sets the tone for the whole book.
All Adele wants to do is go back to her arts school, see her friends, design clothes and daydream about her Mom’s assistant, Emile and be a normal 15 year old. Unfortunately, her life gets a lot more complicated. Especially once she starts being able to control objects with her mind and unintentionally breaks a centuries old curse.
While trying to learn about her new powers she meets two mysterious brothers, Gabe and Nikko, gets reunited with some of her friends and starts at a new school.  Things start going back to normal for her until she discovers her ancestor’s journal hidden in the floor boards of her bedroom. From there, everything gets a bit crazy.
The story has a bit of everything: magic, telekinesis, voodoo, vampires, shape shifters, plot twists, drag queens, romance, family and friendship. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, paranormal, or young adult books.

I got this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.